Marvin Neil Simon was an American screenwriter, author, and one of the most popular playwrights in the history of the American theatre. He received more combined Oscar and Tony nominations than any other writer. Inspirational Neil Simon quotes will challenge the way you think, change the way you live and transform your whole life.
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Most Famous Neil Simon Quotes
A lot of your personality is formed before you’re 12, obviously, but only a few of my plays use characters from my childhood. The more mature plays are affected only by my adult experiences.
Sports is the only entertainment where, no matter how many times you go back, you never know the ending.
I don’t want to restrict the life of a play to a particular production. The original actors might leave after the first six months, and I want the play to last 30 or 40 years. You write for the character, not the actor on the stage.
I don’t mind criticism. The idea is to read it or listen to it and then try to learn from it. All that I want is the mandate to keep on doing what I’m doing.
All humor is based on hostility – that’s why World War Two was funny.
Danny made me laugh. … He made everyone laugh. He was a character (in more ways than one) in at least nine or 10 of my plays, and I’m sure will probably be there again in many plays to come.
Behavior is absolutely the most interesting thing I can write about. You put that behavior in conflict and you’re in business.
He’s too nervous to kill himself. He wears his seat belt in a drive-in movie.
There are two million interesting people in New York and only seventy-eight in Los Angeles.
Baptists are only funny underwater.
You must realize that honorary degrees are given generally to people whose SAT scores were too low to get them into schools the regular way. As a matter of fact, it was my SAT scores that led me into my present vocation in life, comedy.
How long do you want to wait until you start enjoying life? When you’re sixty-five you get social security.
I got brown sandwiches and green sandwiches… It’s either very new cheese or very old meat.
Never have so many given so much for so long for so little for so few for so seldom.
No, no, … It’s hard enough just doing one of the parts.
Money brings some happiness. But after a certain point, it just brings more money.
I don’t like dating or just living with a woman. I like to create a relationship, a marriage. And almost all of my marriages have involved children, so I’m really a family man as well.
Writing is an escape from a world that crowds me. I like being alone in a room. It’s almost a form of meditation- an investigation of my own life.
I don’t think I could exist without writing.
Inspirational Neil Simon Quotes
Her windows are so filthy, I thought she had black curtains hanging inside.
Never underestimate the stimulation of eccentricity.
I am most alive and most fulfilled sitting alone in a room, hoping that those words forming on paper in the Smith Corona will be the first perfect play ever written in a single draft I suspect that I shall keep writing in a vain search for the perfect.
Don’t listen to those who say, you taking too big a chance. Michelangelo would have painted the Sistine floor, and it would surely be rubbed out by today.
Give your mind a chance to travel through foreign languages.
Take care of him. And make him feel important. And if you can do that, you’ll have a happy and wonderful marriage. Like two out of every ten couples.
I understand. You work very hard two days a week and you need a five-day weekend. That’s normal.
The body of a young woman is God’s greatest achievement…Of course, He could have built it to last longer but you can’t have everything.
If no one ever took risks, Michaelangelo would have painted the Sistine floor.
I felt like writing about a time when I was probably, and I think all of us are, the happiest in our lives-before the obligations start in.
Standing on a ledge again. Everyone laughs at dancing monkey with the typewriter. Not for long, though.
I don’t think anyone gets writer’s block. I think fear takes over.
It’s always painful when you’re writing memoirs because you’ve got to go through the dark places, but it gives you a chance to find out the person you really are, not the person you thought you were.
I was constantly being dragged out of movies for laughing too loud.
You get attached to the way you write, and I’m attached to notebooks. That’s where I really write the plays. Just two or three pages at a time, then I transfer to the typewriter and rewrite while I type.
It looks different when you’re sober; I thought I had twice as much furniture.
Yo quito se dablo enchalada porquesa in quinto minuto! But I don’t speak spanish.
The first book was my first attempt at writing full-length prose.
Rewriting is when writing really gets to be fun… In baseball you only get three swings and you’re out. In rewriting, you get almost as many swings as you want and you know, sooner or later, you’ll hit the ball.
Writers feel like a middleman, standing with pen in hand over the page. A force greater than me stands above telling me what to write. That may sound romantic, but that’s how it feels.
Talent is the gift plus the passion – a desire to succeed so intense that no force on earth can stop it.
Once you’ve opened yourself up, it’s best to go all the way.
Nathan Lane always wanted to play Oscar. When he came in the first day, he already knew his lines. He said he’d known them since he was 18.
He wanted to play Oscar too, … He said he’d give us three months if he could understudy Nathan. So we said, ‘Sure,’ and let him be one of the card players, too.
Top Neil Simon Quotes
Everyone thinks they can write a play; you just write down what happened to you. But the art of it is drawing from all the moments of your life.
I feel like writing about a time when I was probably, and think all of us are, the happiest before the obligations start in.
I much prefer writing an original movie with the screen in mind to transferring a play to the screen.
I never write a play with an eye to film.
I don’t like losing the words, as you have to, when I’m asked to turn a play into a movie. It’s not a matter of ego . . . I’m just better able to create the character for an audience through words rather than through actions.
One should never underestimate the stimulation of eccentricity.
People with honorary awards are looked upon with disfavor. Would you let an honorary mechanic fix your brand-new Mercedes?
I don’t like writing for comedians. I like writing for actors. The best comedians are the best actors.
Directing is too strong a word for what you do with Nathan, though. He’s a joy to work with. And Matthew is a friend.
It was too good a moment to lose in this picture — and still seems to work so much,
I’m getting chest pains…You give me chest pains Uncle Willie. It’s my fault you get excited. Yes, it’s your fault! I only get chest pains on Wednesdays. So, come on Tuesdays.
There’s no such thing as a sure thing. That’s why they call it gambling.
In a sense, everything you write is autobiographical because it is going through your brain, so it comes out like litmus paper, it always catches some of who you are.
I go to see plays all the time, and whenever I see Chekhov, I’m amazed at how this Russian play strikes home to me living 100 years later in New York City. I’m drawn to him because of his way with characters and their relationships with each other.
Remember what Momma use to tell us. Stay on your own side of the street. That’s what they have gutters for.
I find that the writing of a memoir has two functions. One is to pass on, as much as you’re willing to tell, the facts and deeds of your life to those who might be a all interested. The other function is to discover a truth about yourself that you never had either the time or the courage to face before.
I firmly believe that if you follow a path that interests you, not to the exclusion of love, sensitivity, and cooperation with others, but with the strength of conviction that you can move others by your own efforts, and do not make success or failure the criteria by which you live, the chances are you’ll be a person worthy of your own respects.
You’re young. Young takes care of everything.
I’d tell you, but you’ve never heard their names, and neither have I.
When it’s 100 degrees in New York, it’s 72 in Los Angeles. When it’s 30 degrees in New York, in Los Angeles it’s still 72. However, there are 6 million interesting people in New York, and only 72 in Los Angeles.
If you can go through life without experiencing pain, you probably haven’t been born yet.
I always found the absurdity of how we live our lives, I always looked for the pain when I wrote about it.
I don’t use computers… I’m someone who needs to see the page right away in my hand.
Evan Handler’s new book is simply wonderful. He pulls you inside his life, and you come out his very close friend.
When you write a play, you walk into a forest without a knife, without a compass. But . . . if you have a sense of geography, you find that you’re clearing a path and getting to the right place.
So, doing this one — I mean — the only thing I worried about was, are we going to live up to the original one, … And for that, we need the right actors and I think we got them. So that made me feel pleased about that.
All the success has demeaned me in a way. Critically, the thinking seems to be that if you write too many hits, they can’t be that good.